Tompkins/Cortland Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton On 2019 Legislative Session

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The 2019 New York legislative session saw the passage of a raft of legislation that has been blocked in previous years. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton spoke with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the Ithaca studio. She represents Tompkins County and part of Cortland County in the state Assembly. Lifton spoke about the new farm labor rights, legalization of electrically-assisted bicycles and scooters, and why she thinks marijuana legalization is inevitable. The conversation begins with Lifton talking what she considers the most important accomplishment of the session.

Researchers Rush To Answer Questions About Newly-Legal Hemp Crops

HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) – Alyssa Collins said she has been fielding around five phone calls every day from people with questions about hemp–and that’s not even counting the emails. Collins directs Penn State’s Southeast Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Lancaster County, where researchers are part of a multi-state, USDA-supported study into different varieties of hemp that can be used for food and fiber. Pennsylvania approved more than 300 permits to farm industrial hemp this growing season, after Congress loosened restrictions on the crop last year. Hemp was long banned because of its relationship to marijuana, but it does not have enough of the psychoactive compound THC to produce a high. So now, researchers like Collins are trying to clear up uncertainties about the crop.

In the Defense of Food

In the Defense of Food airs on WSKG TV December 30th at 9pm. Join New York Times best-selling author Michael Pollan on a fascinating journey to answer the question: What should I eat to be healthy? Busting myths and misconceptions, the two-hour film In Defense of Food reveals how common sense and old-fashioned wisdom can help us rediscover the pleasures of eating and at the same time reduce our risks of falling victim to diet related diseases.”Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

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Behind The Rich History Of Upstate Farms

New York state has long been a center for agriculture. and, tonight, WSKG premieres a new documentary that celebrates upstate’s farming history. The movie is called Harvest. Brian Frey directed the film, and he says he misses the presence of farmers in popular culture.

Horse Power | #tbt

In today’s throwback Thursday photograph, a Cortland County farm family uses a horse-powered treadmill to saw wood. For centuries, draft horses have been used on farms to plow fields, haul wagons, and for various other forms of hard labor. During the 19th century, farmers also used horses to provide their machinery with a dependable source of power. The horse treadmill utilized a system of gears and belts to harness the power of horses to thresh hay, saw wood, and even churn butter. The amount of force necessary to operate these treadmills was measured in “horse power,” a familiar term that is still used today.

Oxford, NY | Town Spotlight | Harvest

As the Chenango River snakes it way southward through the rolling hills of Upstate New York, it bisects the town of Oxford. Before the American Revolution, the fertile land around the river was home to the Oneida Indians. The land was ceded to the fledging United States Government after the war in the 1788 Treaty of Fort Schuyler (Stanwix). White settlers quickly moved into the region and Oxford was officially incorporated on January 19th, 1793. The town’s central location made it an ideal early trading center in the region.

Going for a Ride | #tbt

In today’s vintage throwback Thursday photograph, a farmer gives his daughter a ride in a wheelbarrow while a group of cows look on. The photo was taken in Chenango County probably around the late 19th or early 20th century and represents an interesting snapshot of farm life during this time period. Tune in for the premiere of “Harvest,” WSKG’s new original documentary chronicling the history of agriculture in our region, on November 19th at 8PM to learn more about family farm life.  

Photograph courtesy of the  Chenango County Historical Society.